Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Giveaway: BarcelonaModa

It's Giveaway time! We're in Barcelona so I picked up a scarf-pareo from Gamaya, one of the boutiques in the Old Town.
Me on Barcelona beach with scarf

Outside Gamaya
I loved the scarf so much that -  as you can see -  I bought one for myself. And wore it three days straight.

To be in to win the Barcelona scarf simply 1. Be a Follower and 2. Leave a comment.

I've always had a tricky "relationship" with scarves. The perky small ones make me look like a demented stewardess. The longer ones are usually too stiff, like I've swiped freshly-starched altar linens. This one is soft, lies flat, keeps you warm in the spring night chill and is flutteringly flattering over the puku (tummy) after too many pans of paella and "otre vino blanco" at Irati Taverna.

Irati tapas

I know it seems like I'm forever swanning around the globe, but this is our first week away from the kids in nearly 14 years. (The previous four times have been two nights.) I'm keeping hubster company on a work trip. As you might remember the last time I did this, three-month old Harley pooped all over the white carpet in a Swiss Palace, so all good memories there.

Door in Old Town
You might be expecting to read all about the 15th century churches and just to show you I'm a good all-rounder I'll slip in a few bits of culture amidst the jamon humour.

The first day saw me doing a inspired audition for the part of the ugly tourist. We made the mistake of asking the concierge at Hotel Arts for a cheap and cheerful restaurant with a great paella. In my experience most young concierges send you to the theme park places. A $6 cab ride found us at pricey waterfront icon called Barceloneta with a paella heavy on the salt (and don't get me wrong I love salt) and spare on the seafood.

Hotel Arts
After dinner we ordered a taxi after being assured us it would take five mins. Half an hour later, fed up, we walked downstairs where there were five taxis waiting. "Just one moment, you wait one moment" the front desk beauty huffed. We walked up to the first taxi who welcomed us. The journey ended three minutes later with a fare of US$30. The driver had charged us for waiting 20 minutes.

Feeling sorry for us, our hotel offered us dinner for two on the house. Undeterred by this graciousness, next day I turned up for a call-back audition for ugly tourist. I couldn't seem to communicate an order for a double non-fat latte in a tall cup.

After ten minutes I had attracted a crowd of staff around me translating my order into Spanish, each of them chiming in a new word. Eventually we had a ten-word description. My order was filled with much nodding and chatter and good-natured waving from the staff.  Feeling pretty embarrassed by my inflexibility - couldn't I just have had a simple cafe con leche? - I headed to the old town with my friend Laura, who is also here.

Laura had the joy of sight-seeing with a blogger -  someone who takes hundreds of photos in one day (one day I took 250!) someone who scuttles after people in the street who might make a good pic, someone who chats wildly to everyone and anyone. Or is that just me? We decided Laura should form a support group with my kids and family, sort of "blogger bystanders in line of fire".

Laura and I at Hotel Arts
Anyway she was a good sport and and even called "Work it! work it!" when I asked her to take photos (top) of me prancing around the beachfront flapping my scarf . The horrified young lads playing soccer nearby moved away moy pronto.

We drifted through the old town among the wonderful 15th century churches. And down the street we came across "Happy Pills"  candy for every part of your day...
Happy Pills store

And one store selling only knives, scissors and nail clippers. Is that where my scissors go?
Laura outside knife and scissor store
That night we quested again for good paella. We took a taxi for a little-known place Laura had heard of called Can Ganassa  After taking a circular Tiki Tour of the area, we landed close to start point at a place with Donald Duck and Fred Flinstone out the front and a mammoth screen TV inside. 

Can Ganassa restaurant
Our hearts sank, how authentic could this be? Turns out very. Though we ate with Fred and the blokes, our view was this. We made our way through much of the tapas menu including sardines, asparagus and hot peppers, with a total bill of around US$20 each.

View from Can Ganassa
Our waiter, Adrian had spent years alternating between travelling and working at this restaurant. Ten years ago he hiked around New Zealand and acquired this tattoo Whitu, Maori for seven. Why seven? Why seven? We were expecting an epiphanous story which had changed his life and now ours. "I couldn't think of anything else" Adrian shrugged. Taking pity on our disappointed faces: "Oh well ..." he said dredging his memory "When I played waterpolo I was number seven."
Our waiter Adrian with "Whitu" tattoo
We laughed so hard we forgot to order paella.

Now remember to leave a comment to be in to win!


  1. There's so much in this post that makes me smile I don't know where to start.
    We went to the Happy Pills shop when we were in Barcelona - loved it.
    Envious of you staying in Hotel Arts: looks beautiful.
    All I can say about your trip and your great attitude is YABBA DABBA DOO!

  2. Jody - you are such a fantastic writer! (Do I say that every time?) I just love seeing a new post from you pending in my reader.

    I startled my baby by laughing at the "demented stewardess" part. I don't have much luck with scarves either!

    And I like what you did with the place. I don't know if I'm not very observant or if it's brand new but I like the look of your blog a lot!


  3. What a getaway! I felt like I was there! Gorg.

  4. I love the scarf and am terribly jealous of your jaunt {sans kids no less} around the world. Green with envy in fact.

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Great to travel world on another RAINY day here in Ohope. I love your comment "I couldn't seem to communicate an order for a double non-fat latte in a tall cup." I felt your pain.... great blog Jody

  6. Ohope Beach, Britain, Barcelona. The beginning of a year long pilgrimage, or odyssey, perhaps.

    Love the scarf! Every Bear should have something that fashionable! To celebrate the safe arrival the new Den, of course. :)

  7. beautiful scarf :) seems like you had an amazing time!

  8. I stayed in the Hotel Arts it was one of my favourite hotels. I particularly loved the flowers.

  9. Tapas, oh yum!
    Tapas, Dim sum...small bites, my favourite way to eat. Great post.

  10. oh my goodness...please pick me for the scarf!!! i love it...

    and it looks like you had a blast in Barcelona...enjoy it!

  11. Looks like you're having a good time travelling, loving the scarf too.

  12. Barcelona with NO kids??? Dream come true!! =)

    I love the blogger bystander part. SO true. Hailey loves to chant (after I mention the word "blog"), "alllllllllways [about] the blog!"

    What?? Mom's need a "hobby" too!!

  13. Jody- The Gayama scarf is so pretty - enter me, please. Did you try the pills? What a crazy store. I'm sure a placebo effect works every time! I could package some gumdrops and give them to my kids and husband. Every morning!

    Thank you for the nice tour. We did our Honeymoon in Spain but never got to Barcelona.


    p.s. As a frequent flyer you NEED to enter my giveaway on APPLESandRUBIES - it's a luggage scale because my brother-in-law invented it! It has a built-in flashlight, which is good, as I only fly once a year!


  14. So pretty! I want it!!! Glad you are home. Happy Mother's Day. xo

  15. What a lovely scarf! I'm sure it will go to someone who appreciates it.

  16. I'm in love with scarves and this one is no exception. The colors are beautiful! Great giveaway!

    xoxo Jess

    ps Happy Mother's Day!

  17. Oooo, I so want to go to Barcelona one day! I think actually dining on paella there would be a religious experience. :)

    Please enter me into the drawing for that beautiful scarf!


  18. I'm loving your chronicle of your travels and how wonderful that you have some alone time with your hubby in a beautiful and exotic place! I'm jealous! Not to mention hungry after reading about all this paella. Can't wait for you to get back though and of course, please enter me in the scarf giveaway! One can never have too many fluttery scarves to cover the after-dinner tummy!

    xo Mary Jo

  19. Oh I love this! Ha - I feel like my friends suffer the same frustration of going out with me -- I always have my camera & am constantly stopping to take a picture. Takes 30 minutes to go a block. (Love the scarf too & enjoy your time away/vacay!)

  20. What a beautiful scarf! I love all of your trips and exciting travels! I hope to make it around the world one day.

  21. so fun reading about all your travels!!! I am dying to get to Barcelona!!! you look fab in the photos as you always do!!! drink lots of good wine and eat tons of amazing food and sleep in!!!

  22. I love the scarf and I love Barcelona! Thanks for posting!

  23. Did I already comment? I can't remember.
    But I want to say, as a new Blogger myself, I know how much work goes into it. And you have posts that are chuck full of pictures and information. Amazing how you do that!

  24. Actually...I think the scarf would be best suited for me! I realize that there are 25 other posts from women who clearly see the scarf wrapped around their bodies but...think, the colors, the texture, the history (jody to me) the shape (trust me, i need something square). Its perfect for me!

  25. I had to come back and see it again (and show Ryan, of course :)... and now I'm even more excited!


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